Highlights from the 2019 ASTA Global Convention and PATH Symposium
Written by: Sydney M Crago on September 18, 2019
Last month, members of the KHM Travel Group team proudly represented us and our agents at two major travel industry events, the American Society of Travel Advisors’ (ASTA) Global Convention and the annual Professional Association of Travel Hosts (PATH) Symposium. Catch up on these two events and the insights our team took away, which impact travel agents.
Highlights from the ASTA Global Convention
This year’s ASTA Global Convention was held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida from August 25-27. We were fortunate to have Bill, our Director of Education and Programs, Marie from our Group Team, and Megan, our Technology Manager, attend to represent KHM Travel Group and meet with our travel agents in attendance.
Each of our team members found value in the sessions offered, which covered a wide variety of topics. Marie participated in a ship tour of Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas. She also attended the ASTA Advocacy Dinner, where Royal Caribbean pledged $50,000 to the American Society of Travel Advisors Political Action Committee (ASTA PAC). This arm of ASTA works to ensure that what is best for the agents is taken into consideration in the political sphere. This can play a major role in the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) regulations and other policies like California’s recent independent contractor law AB5.
Megan attended a presentation on cybersecurity and how it is the responsibility of the individual, business-owner, supplier, and client. The group brainstormed ways to increase security at all four levels. She learned about some of the areas that ASTA is working to communicate and educate travel agents on, and shared them with the entire KHM Travel Group team so that we can better help agents grow in these areas.
ASTA also shared that through their legislative and advocacy efforts to they were able to save $36,400,955 for travel agencies across the U.S. so far in 2019 that would otherwise have been charged as new or expanded taxes and fees.
If you would like to learn more about ASTA or are considering becoming a member, you can find information in the Agent Portal.
Advocacy at the 2019 PATH Symposium
Representation in major travel industry organizations ensures that KHM Travel is part of the conversations about the direction of the travel industry and travel agents as a whole. The Professional Association of Travel Hosts (PATH) is one such organization. This group gathers representatives from leading host agencies around the United States to meet with travel suppliers. In these meetings, host agencies can share the challenges agents are facing with suppliers and advocate for change in the industry. We are working together to ensure agents have the best possible resources and support to run their independent travel businesses.
Marie and Megan also attended this year’s annual PATH symposium to share their insights and advocate for hosted travel agents. They discussed the ways in which agents use supplier portals, search for online resources, and which features are especially beneficial to home-based travel agents. About her experience, Marie said,
“PATH was an amazing meeting of the minds. It showed how we [host agencies] are dedicated to preserving our industry and how we plan to move forward working hand-in-hand with our suppliers. I look forward to working alongside some of our competitors for the better of our industry.”
At both ASTA’s Global Conference and the 2019 Path Symposium, we met and collaborated with those who are making progress in the travel industry to better serve our agents and in turn help them serve their clients. Thank you to Megan and Marie for sharing your insights on these events and the ways that KHM Travel Group is advocating for our agents.
Are you interested in becoming a travel agent? With a host travel agency by your side, you have the support and resources you need to find success. To learn more about becoming an independent travel agent with KHM Travel Group, fill out the form to the right or give our team a call at 1-888-611-1220.